Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting Recipe

Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting Recipe

How To Make Browned Butter Pumpkin Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

Browned butter and salted caramel really take this pumpkin cake to the next level. The cake itself is perfectly spiced & full of warm autumn flavors.

Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total: 3 hours 25 minutes



For Cake:

  • 1cupunsalted butter,diced into 1 tbsp pieces
  • cupsall-purpose flour
  • 1tspbaking powder
  • 1tspbaking soda
  • ½tspsalt
  • tspground cinnamon
  • ¾tspground ginger
  • ¼tspground nutmeg
  • ¼tspground cloves
  • cupsgranulated sugar
  • 4largeeggs
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • 1⅔cupspumpkin puree,canned
  • ¼cupbuttermilk

For Caramel Sauce:

  • 1cupgranulated sugar
  • ¼cupwater
  • ¾tspfine sea salt
  • ¼cupunsalted butter
  • cupheavy cream

For Frosting:

  • ¾cupunsalted butter
  • cupssugar,powdered
  • 1tspvanilla extract
  • ¼tspfine sea salt,or to taste
  • pecans,for garnish, chopped, optional



  1. Add butter to a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Melt butter and allow to brown, whisking occasionally.

  2. Pour into a 4-cup bowl and allow to cool in the refrigerator for about 2 hours or until creamy and nearly set, stirring occasionally. Alternately, chill fully overnight, then let rest at room temp until softened for about 20 – 30 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-inch cake pans, line with a round of parchment, butter parchment and lightly dust pans with flour, shaking out excess. Wrap cake pans with cake strips if you have them.

  4. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves for 20 seconds.

  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together cooled browned butter with 1½ cups granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, adding in vanilla with the last egg.

  6. In a bowl or liquid measuring cup, mix together pumpkin and buttermilk. With mixer set on low speed add in ⅓ of the flour mixture (to the butter mixture) and mix just until combined.

  7. Then, add in ½ of the pumpkin mixture and mix just until combined. Repeat process once more with flour and pumpkin mixture then finish by mixing in last ⅓ of the flour mixture until nearly combined.

  8. Fold batter with a spatula to evenly incorporate. Divide batter amoung two prepared baking pans and spread batter into an even layer.

  9. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, prepare and chill caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce:

  1. Have all caramel ingredients ready. In a medium saucepan combine sugar, water and sea salt.

  2. Set over medium-high heat and whisk constantly until it begins to boil, then allow mixture to boil until it turns to a rich amber color, carefully swirling pan occasionally.

  3. Immediately whisk in butter then remove from heat and whisk in cream and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for several minutes then pour into a glass bowl or jar and chill caramel until it’s completely cooled.


  1. Whip butter until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce, sea salt and vanilla. Mix until well combined and slightly fluffy. 

  2. Chill until it becomes a more firm consistency if needed.

  3. Spread over cake and drizzle some of the remaining caramel sauce over cake just before serving. Sprinkle with pecans if desired.


  • Calories: 610.70kcal
  • Fat: 28.17g
  • Saturated Fat: 17.35g
  • Trans Fat: 0.93g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 7.52g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.32g
  • Carbohydrates: 88.34g
  • Fiber: 1.37g
  • Sugar: 73.22g
  • Protein: 4.26g
  • Cholesterol: 121.25mg
  • Sodium: 353.96mg
  • Calcium: 58.97mg
  • Potassium: 113.55mg
  • Iron: 1.51mg
  • Vitamin A: 453.97µg
  • Vitamin C: 1.18mg
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